One Framework for Better Sales Emails, InMails and Warm Calls

You’re the SVP of Sales at an engineering firm that designs braking technology for major car manufacturers – and you’ve been tasked with growing revenue 20% YOY.

Easier said than done, especially since your cost of acquisition skyrocketed during the pandemic. But you have a plan: a sales transformation at scale that will rebuild the way your company goes to market. You’re confident – after all, you did it before at your last company.

Still, in an attempt to mitigate risk, your CFO is now involved in all major purchasing decisions. Unless you get her approval, your entire initiative stops on a dime. Plus, you routinely go up against your counterparts from marketing and enablement for the same funds, so imagine what it feels like to open this email first thing on a Tuesday morning:

Tim,

I am sending a similar email to Shana Wilcox and Randall Hawkins to determine who at Willmire             Engineering would have the most interest in speaking with me about driving qualified leads and sales productivity.

Working with other companies in the automotive engineering space and executives in your role, we have achieved a 55% increase in sales velocity and 35% improvement in win rates – resulting in a 30% reduction in cost of acquisition.

I have time this Wednesday or Friday from 9 - 12 PT to talk in more detail about your current challenges. If that doesn’t work, please suggest a time that does.

Thank you,

Kiley Jones

I don’t know about you, but if this were me, Kiley would have my attention.

Why it Works

Kiley is able to connect with prospects and instantly pique their interest because she has done the research, identified likely business challenges already on an executive’s radar, used a strategically-choreographed sales prospecting cadence across multiple channels – and builds effective sales emails, LinkedIn InMails and warm calls using the A-I-M Framework.

A-I-M stands for Anxiety, Influence, and Motivation – and it’s a potent template for sales emails and other forms of prospecting outreach that leverages the neuroscience behind how we react to situations to generate intrigue and engagement. It’s powerful because it shows that you are relevant, knowledgeable and credible – and it’s the antithesis to a product-first approach. Let’s look at how it breaks down and how you can use it to write better sales emails and other messaging:

Anxiety

Leveraging anxiety can inspire urgency or shake a prospect out of their complacency. It triggers curiosity and makes them seek a new solution or understanding.

In the example above, Kiley uses her industry experience and research to predict that the executives at Willmire Engineering are competing for capital when she writes: “I am sending a similar email to Shana Wilcox and Randall Hawkins to determine who at Willmire Engineering would have the most interest in speaking with me about driving qualified leads and sales productivity.”

Influence

Now that you’ve gotten their attention, here’s the component you’ll use to prove your credibility and move the conversation in a more comfortable direction by showcasing the results you’ve brought to similar individuals in the past: “Working with other companies and executives in your role, we have achieved a 55% increase in sales velocity and 35% improvement in win rates – resulting in a 30% reduction in cost of acquisition.”

Notice that there is absolutely no detail on the product/service Kiley is selling. It’s not about her or her agenda – it’s about the value she brings to her customers, value that is tied to KPIs that Tim is likely charged with influencing.

Motivation

Here’s where you inspire action: “I have time this Wednesday or Friday from 9 - 12 PT to talk in more detail about your current challenges. If that doesn’t work, please suggest a time that does.” From Tim’s perspective, this provides a concrete action he can take to ensure he’s not left out of the loop.

***

The true power of the A-I-M Framework is its universality – while the above example focused on an email that included all three components, you’ll leverage different elements at different times. For example, your first few touches should also be focused on value, so you’ll be sharing resources from your company’s Sphere of Influence or relevant 3rd-party research. Then, you might make a phone call and leave a voicemail that touches on all three parts. From there, your next email is focused on influence and includes a case study that speaks to the prospect’s likely business issues. If you receive no response, it might be time for a more anxiety-focused email. You get the idea–you’re searching for that key motivating element that will resonate with a prospect and provoke action.

For more selling advice, check out:

As always, Sell with Value,

Julie

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